Thursday, June 03, 2021


Mike ElShawa must be smiling. He passed away a few years ago, but the SF burger joint he ran for nearly five decades is now immortal. Per an article on SF Gate Sam's Burger has achieved Legacy Business status.

Cool beans.
"That is a good motherf***in’ burger"
--- Anthony Bourdain ---

It still is. Whether you're ending your pub crawl or just starting, or maybe not even crawling, a cheeseburger and fries is the way to go. Sam's at 618 Broadway, just up from the New Sun Hong Kong on the corner of Grant Avenue, is where you want to be in North Beach. Many of us who lived or worked nearby treasure the place, and fondly remember Mike (Monzer). And his range of employees throughout the years. Some of whom were unique individuals. As well as his regulars. Some of whom were more so. And his food. Which is great.

Of course the pinball machine and the card game on the back table are long gone, as well as the drunken gentlemen from Louisiana who came by after their shifts at the Italian restaurants nearby. The big ebullient bouncer from a nearby nightclub, and the barkers from joints down the street are also past history. As well as the crazy ladies from the transient hotel skipping distance away, and the stripper who lost her mind on meth.

But if you took your aunties from out of town there, Mike would treat them like ladies, charm them, and feed them well. And you knew that he'd do so.

Good place to bring your date sometime.
If she likes it, she's alright.

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